Enhancing communication with individuals affected by Alzheimer's, dementia, or memory loss disorders can greatly improve your relationship with them. Here are some strategies that can help foster understanding between you and your loved one:
1. Ensure Optimal Hearing and Vision:
If you suspect hearing or vision issues, seek a professional assessment.
Consult with a family doctor who can initiate assessments and refer you to specialists.
2. Get Close and Personal:
Address the person by their name and maintain eye contact.
Position yourself at their eye level, either sitting or standing.
3. Simplify Choices:
Too many options can lead to frustration for those with dementia.
Instead of open-ended questions like, "Where would you like to go today?" use more direct options like, "Would you like to go to the park?"
4. Minimize Distractions:
Eliminate background noise from sources like the TV, radio, or fans during conversations.
Avoid group discussions, which can confuse or overwhelm; opt for a quiet environment.
5. Keep Communication Simple:
Use specific names for objects, such as saying "bird" when referring to a pretty bird during a walk.
6. Avoid Conflicts:
Refrain from arguing with individuals experiencing dementia, as it can lead to agitation for both parties.
When faced with an argument, it's often best to disengage rather than escalate the situation.
7. Enter Their World:
Validate their feelings and thoughts, acknowledging their perspective.
For example, if they feel abandoned while their caregiver is in another room, express understanding and reassurance.
8. Exercise Patience:
Slow down and avoid rushing interactions.
Do not finish their sentences, as it doesn't aid their memory and can be frustrating.
Instead, try asking questions that might trigger their memory.
9. Pay Attention to Visual Cues:
Recognize that they may struggle to express their emotions verbally.
Observe their facial expressions and body language to understand their feelings and needs.
10. Use Creative Communication:
If words alone are insufficient, explore alternative communication methods.
Employ verbal, visual, and auditory cues, as well as gentle touch, to aid their understanding.
For instance, when it's time to get out of bed, open the curtains, show them the daylight, and present their daytime clothing.
At Bridgeway Senior Healthcare Generations Village, we understand that Alzheimer's, dementia, and memory impairments affect not only the residents but also their families and friends. We are dedicated to supporting caregivers, residents, and staff by offering education and assistance as a fundamental part of our philosophy.
Visit https://www.bshcare.com/memory-care1.html for more information.